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  1. #1
    Glutillius Maximus GluteStrength's Avatar
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    Question about personal trainers at LA Fitness & 24 Hour

    At these gyms I notice all of these trainers walking around who don't look like they even lift weights or work out themselves, does this take away from better quality training?

    I fear that these type of trainers may know all of the theories and science behind lifting, but may not have the experience to know first-hand how to deal with plateus, working around injuries, or even lifting overall.

    Comments?
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  2. #2
    Registered User MikeSmithFitnes's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GluteStrength View Post
    At these gyms I notice all of these trainers walking around who don't look like they even lift weights or work out themselves, does this take away from better quality training?

    I fear that these type of trainers may know all of the theories and science behind lifting, but may not have the experience to know first-hand how to deal with plateus, working around injuries, or even lifting overall.

    Comments?
    LA Fitness trainers get paid 7.50 a session, they only require your have a national training cert. Its a joke, and if you work for this company and you take your job seriously....consider leaving lol!
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  3. #3
    Glutillius Maximus GluteStrength's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MikeSmithFitnes View Post
    LA Fitness trainers get paid 7.50 a session, they only require your have a national training cert. Its a joke, and if you work for this company and you take your job seriously....consider leaving lol!
    Yes, I've never seen any trainers there training any serious weight lifters. They all use those balance balls and make you do funky stuff on them and like 120 reps of calf raises etc.

    I am looking for a serious gym with serious trainers that will seriously help me improve numbers with my Squat, Deads, and Bench.

    Anyone know any in the Los Angeles area?
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    Registered User ericmackcarter's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GluteStrength View Post
    At these gyms I notice all of these trainers walking around who don't look like they even lift weights or work out themselves, does this take away from better quality training?

    I fear that these type of trainers may know all of the theories and science behind lifting, but may not have the experience to know first-hand how to deal with plateus, working around injuries, or even lifting overall.

    Comments?
    I wouldn't judge a trainer by how he looks necessarily but rather judge him by what he is doing. You're right I do know "all of the theories and science behind lifting" but guess what, I'm probably never going to deadlift more than 600lbs in my life. However, I am 100% certain I could help someone who wanted to deadlift 800 pounds do just that. Experience is great for dealing with the same situation twice, but education is what allows trainers to creatively solve problems and help clients reach goals. The problem is most trainers are not highly educated.

    I'm one of those "lots of muscle for a skinny guy" types. You might make assumptions about me. What you wouldn't know until you ask is that I am one of the fastest people on the planet. I also have incredible endurance. You also might not guess that I had to overcome a form of heart disease and a lung collapse before becoming a professional athlete, all which contributed to my decision to not to put on weight until this year.


    Don't get me wrong, experience is important. Let's say you have "issue X". The hierarchy of people who can help you is something like this:

    1. Specific solution (specific experience)
    2. Strategic problem-solving (education)
    3. Trail and error (non-specific experience)

    The problem with experience is that it has limitations. If you need someone to help you with "issue Z" but they have experience in "issue X", they won't be able to help you and will revert to #3 on the hierarchy. A person who is actually educated (and don't assume most trainers are) will be able to deal with a wider range of issues, and make no mistake, you will have a wide range of issues arise during training.

    As long as you ensure your trainer is knowledgeable and is educated about your goals, it will be a good fit regardless of how they look or what their specific training goals are (remember, as trainers, we have our own goals which are likely different from yours). The trick is actually finding one who meets those criteria.
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  5. #5
    Glutillius Maximus GluteStrength's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ericmackcarter View Post
    I wouldn't judge a trainer by how he looks necessarily but rather judge him by what he is doing. You're right I do know "all of the theories and science behind lifting" but guess what, I'm probably never going to deadlift more than 600lbs in my life. However, I am 100% certain I could help someone who wanted to deadlift 800 pounds do just that. Experience is great for dealing with the same situation twice, but education is what allows trainers to creatively solve problems and help clients reach goals. The problem is most trainers are not highly educated.

    I'm one of those "lots of muscle for a skinny guy" types. You might make assumptions about me. What you wouldn't know until you ask is that I am one of the fastest people on the planet. I also have incredible endurance. You also might not guess that I had to overcome a form of heart disease and a lung collapse before becoming a professional athlete, all which contributed to my decision to not to put on weight until this year.


    Don't get me wrong, experience is important. Let's say you have "issue X". The hierarchy of people who can help you is something like this:

    1. Specific solution (specific experience)
    2. Strategic problem-solving (education)
    3. Trail and error (non-specific experience)

    The problem with experience is that it has limitations. If you need someone to help you with "issue Z" but they have experience in "issue X", they won't be able to help you and will revert to #3 on the hierarchy. A person who is actually educated (and don't assume most trainers are) will be able to deal with a wider range of issues, and make no mistake, you will have a wide range of issues arise during training.

    As long as you ensure your trainer is knowledgeable and is educated about your goals, it will be a good fit regardless of how they look or what their specific training goals are (remember, as trainers, we have our own goals which are likely different from yours). The trick is actually finding one who meets those criteria.
    You're right, but I just feel like a trainer who has the same goals as I do, is going to have the educational value AND the experience to really help someone out.

    Another thing though is, I'm sure the several clients at LA Fitness have different goals there, but I see them ALL getting trained the SAME. I took a few free training trials there, and they all trained me the same. Nothing about my goals whatsoever. I need someone who's a Powerlifter who's also a personal trainer who's going to help me out.
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  6. #6
    Registered User ericmackcarter's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GluteStrength View Post
    You're right, but I just feel like a trainer who has the same goals as I do, is going to have the educational value AND the experience to really help someone out.

    Another thing though is, I'm sure the several clients at LA Fitness have different goals there, but I see them ALL getting trained the SAME. I took a few free training trials there, and they all trained me the same. Nothing about my goals whatsoever. I need someone who's a Powerlifter who's also a personal trainer who's going to help me out.
    You're the customer so I can't argue with what you want. But you might miss out on someone like me who the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings thought was good enough to train a few of their players even though I've never played a day of college/pro football in my life.

    You are definitely describing the typical shotty personal trainer. Same workouts for everyone and there is a good chance a bosu ball will be involved. I think you are smart to look for someone who is a trainer and powerlifter, but just because he might powerlift doesn't mean he'll understand biomechanics, physiology, or even be a good coach. The education is more important than the experience, and if you find someone with both sounds like you win.

    Just a sidebar: all of my strength clients never remained day-to-day training types. There will become a point where having the trainer there every workout is unnecessary. He will need to show up and problem solve, assess your progress, and take more of a coach/visionary role rather than telling you what to do day in and day out. Unless you have motivation issues and you need that. I end up just charging a monthly consulting fee and give them the program and have a few coaching sessions per month.
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  7. #7
    Glutillius Maximus GluteStrength's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ericmackcarter View Post
    You're the customer so I can't argue with what you want. But you might miss out on someone like me who the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings thought was good enough to train a few of their players even though I've never played a day of college/pro football in my life.

    You are definitely describing the typical shotty personal trainer. Same workouts for everyone and there is a good chance a bosu ball will be involved. I think you are smart to look for someone who is a trainer and powerlifter, but just because he might powerlift doesn't mean he'll understand biomechanics, physiology, or even be a good coach. The education is more important than the experience, and if you find someone with both sounds like you win.

    Just a sidebar: all of my strength clients never remained day-to-day training types. There will become a point where having the trainer there every workout is unnecessary. He will need to show up and problem solve, assess your progress, and take more of a coach/visionary role rather than telling you what to do day in and day out. Unless you have motivation issues and you need that. I end up just charging a monthly consulting fee and give them the program and have a few coaching sessions per month.
    Not really motivation issues, but when working out with heavier weights, I feel it's a good idea to have a spotter with me there since I currently work out alone.

    Yes I could be missing out on someone like you as a trainer, but how many horrible trainers do I have to weed through to find someone who's legit? That's quite a few bucks down the drain.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by GluteStrength View Post
    Not really motivation issues, but when working out with heavier weights, I feel it's a good idea to have a spotter with me there since I currently work out alone.

    Yes I could be missing out on someone like you as a trainer, but how many horrible trainers do I have to weed through to find someone who's legit? That's quite a few bucks down the drain.
    No argument there. Good luck in your search.
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    Originally Posted by GluteStrength View Post
    At these gyms I notice all of these trainers walking around who don't look like they even lift weights or work out themselves, does this take away from better quality training?

    I fear that these type of trainers may know all of the theories and science behind lifting, but may not have the experience to know first-hand how to deal with plateus, working around injuries, or even lifting overall.

    Comments?
    I'm actually a trainer at LA Fitness in my city. I've recently started but have been working freelance for almost 2 years prior. I do have a can fit pro certification, a background in nutrition and am currently in school to further my education. I believe in lifting heavy for males and females and trainer my clients on the main muscle groups with bench press, deadlifts and squats. Although I am still reaching my own personal goals, I squats, deadlift and bench more than my male clients.

    All of my clients have seen progress and I have trained for fat loss as well as muscle growth.

    Please don't judge a book by its cover or a trainer by where they work. Good and bad trainer can be found anywhere.

    Unfortunately with this career, there's trainers who do it for the love of fitness, and trainer who do it because it seemed easier than working retails. They aren't restricted to LA Fitness and Anytime Fitness.

    Best of luck with all your goals.
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    I work for 24HR. I'm an ok trainer.
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    I work for 24 and i'm a badass trainer
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    It's worth pointing out that the value of a PT isn't specific to how they can help a power lifter or body builder. There's plenty of other people in the world who go to gyms and need teaching and guidance alot more than any bodybuilder and a PT should be able to help them effectively regardless of muscle size or lifting ability.

    You may need someone with experience in lifting, and perhaps majority of PT's don't have that, but I don't think that is what makes or breaks a PT. Just because they don't hold expertise in helping top level lifters (of which I'd class most BB's - given their experience at gyms and knowledge of exercise) doesn't mean they don't have a benefit being at the gym for the clients who want a routine which involves bosu balls or the like. Not everyone at the gym is there to squat big and the PT's, despite with a lack of lifting experience, can still be helpful and informative for other gym members.

    I'm close to completing my PT certificates, I am FAR from being able to speak to a regular lifter and help them to the level you probably require, I'm still learning as I train and I'm happy to admit that. I spend my days reading and absorbing as much as I can and will continue to do so once I start the job and will constantly look to educate myself in order to be able to help clients as best as possible. I may not have lifted myself or have the ability to teach you in your specifics (yet) but I believe I'm good enough and trained enough to help other individuals who are much further back on the path of fitness.

    I'll add that I don't look like a PT, I'm still training myself and am at 20% BF, I guess people like you will look at me and mock, questioning my knowledge and ability to teach them (it's something that I am conscious of). BUT, little will most people know but I'm 30 kg's and 4 waist sizes smaller than I once was, that's something most people can't ever claim, I've done the hard yards and made massive, positive changes in life and I think with that specific experience in mind I have the experience and knowledge to guide others to the same results - it may not be the experience in lifting and I may not look like a hench 'mutha f*cker' so you wouldn't get that experience or knowledge from me and obviously another trainer would be needed as you require it, but if it was fat and weight loss you were after I think my experience or 'hands on' knowledge is more than most trainers who's only knowledge of how it feels losing fat comes from text books.

    It's a good thing not all clients are hench bodybuilders who judge the worth of a trainer on the muscles they possess.
    Experience always helps, but the best sports stars on the pitch rarely make the best coaches off of it.

    I agree with above comments about PT's lack of knowledge though, it's certainly something which weighs heavy on my mind - thus constantly trying to learn and improve myself for the benefit of the clients.
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    the trainers at my L.A. Fitness are a complete joke. I almost feel bad for people that shell out the money for the useless work outs they give you. All use the same work outs, most trainers look to have no interest in helping people improve and are 90% of the time on their cell phones texting away.
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    I work for 24 and have frequently done research in books and online (this site included) to fit clients needs. At the moment I have one client who's maintaining his muscle mass while losing weight, another losing weight while trying to keep his strength, a couple of others who are toning up from being skinny-fat and another who's bulking

    Almost all of their routines are different from one another. I do see that its a trend for trainers in a particular gym to train very similarly for each client, and because I've noticed this I've tried very hard to make all my routines varying.
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    Originally Posted by Burdmanindaclub View Post
    the trainers at my L.A. Fitness are a complete joke. I almost feel bad for people that shell out the money for the useless work outs they give you. All use the same work outs, most trainers look to have no interest in helping people improve and are 90% of the time on their cell phones texting away.
    And that's terrible to hear but bad trainers exist everywhere, not just LA fitness. Just as bad hairdressers exist etc. If they're texting, that's a management problem. Not a single one of the trainers where I work would have the guts to text while with a client. We also all use our own routines which are client specific.

    My point is, we can generalize about every profession.
    Go life heavy stuff.
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    Registered User Shane30794's Avatar
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    I'm almost through a 1 year Fitness Specialist Cert at my community college, then I'm going to take my national cert. Probably NASM or ACSM. How much do you guys get paid at 24hr? Thats probably the first place I'm going to try to get my foot in the door.
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    I personally do not talk about other PT's. I believe a good PT knows about nutrition as well as weight lifting and exercise. You dont have to be a bodybuilder to know about weight lifting, just like you dont have to be skinny to know about nutrition. A good PT will ask the person what they want to achieve, and give them what they know. What I do to someone that wants to get big might be something someone else does differently, but we both know that you must lift heavy weight. If you dont know much about nutrition, then you shouldnt be a PT, i will leave it at that.
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    Originally Posted by MartaKS View Post
    And that's terrible to hear but bad trainers exist everywhere, not just LA fitness. Just as bad hairdressers exist etc. If they're texting, that's a management problem. Not a single one of the trainers where I work would have the guts to text while with a client. We also all use our own routines which are client specific.

    My point is, we can generalize about every profession.
    Hate to generalize, but this has been the case at the multiple 24 Hour and LA Fitness locations I've been to.
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    Originally Posted by MartaKS View Post
    And that's terrible to hear but bad trainers exist everywhere, not just LA fitness. Just as bad hairdressers exist etc. If they're texting, that's a management problem. Not a single one of the trainers where I work would have the guts to text while with a client. We also all use our own routines which are client specific.

    My point is, we can generalize about every profession.
    No doubt, and that is why i said at MY LA fitness, I agree it's not all that at other gyms. Just pointing it out that at the gym I go to it does..
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    My philosophy is never take fitness advice from anyone in same or worse shape as you. It's a common fact that most gyms accept this look of trainers because they dont want muscle bound people because their afraid it turns away potential clients i really wish they would get away from this outlook. Also hold trainers accountable and to a standard that they hire them into and they must maintain.
    feel free to add me on Facebook i'm always posting articles and ideas on there and always interested in networking in the fitness industry......http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1308121135#!/profile.php?id=555915603
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    Originally Posted by hackmann View Post
    My philosophy is never take fitness advice from anyone in same or worse shape as you. It's a common fact that most gyms accept this look of trainers because they dont want muscle bound people because their afraid it turns away potential clients i really wish they would get away from this outlook. Also hold trainers accountable and to a standard that they hire them into and they must maintain.
    A) that phyilosophy is closed minded, and idiotic. B) I see it as the other way around, i know a lot of big mesomorphic shaped guys who dont know shiit, but get offered pt jobs at various gyms they lift at. I think it is very funny. any idiot can lift weights and get bigger.
    If a trainer does not hold their self to a higher standard, and level of service, you can not expect the club to do that. they just need to hire better trainers.
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    one what exactly have you accomplished in the fitness industry? And only an uneducated person would make the comment anyone can throw around weights and get big? Considering the average weight of a male is 170-185. Better trainers are fit individuals that take pride in their job and lifestyle I personally worked at a corporate gym where trainers got blizzards on break and at fast food in the office in front of clients and for that reason I quit and joined a privately ran gym, where they only hired people that have accomplished not only a certification but uphold their bodies and continue to improve in the fitness industry. Not bashing you bro just making a response to your post.Either way i wish the best to you.
    feel free to add me on Facebook i'm always posting articles and ideas on there and always interested in networking in the fitness industry......http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1308121135#!/profile.php?id=555915603
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    My two cents, I don't care how many degrees you have, if you haven't spent signifigant time underneath a barbell then I am probably not going to pay much attention to you. I feel that every trainer should have extensive experience with the work they are having their clients do. There is a reason that people go to the Powerlifting forums and ask those lifters how to get strong and don't come to the PT section. Would you listen to your football coach if he was the worst player on the team or never even played a down, I would certainly hope not, the same should apply to personal training.
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    In my opinion..
    A trainer needs experience. Period.
    I will not take the advice of any trainer if they either don't look physically fit(skinny is not "fit" I don't care if you used to be fat), or if they never took the time to train themselves in the past.
    If I got shot and was paralyzed from the waist down, I'd still have a big ass torso, because I know what I'm doing, and can show it.

    Brb squatting with my feet on a bosu-ball because I want to be more stable to push more weight and my book said stabilizer muscles will do that.
    Book smart doesn't NOT equal/measure up to experience.

    If you are slow slow on a lockout of a bench press(tricep weakness) and your form involved flaring your elbows way out, I wouldn't tell you to do do some Skullcrushers(completely different movement, but same muscle needed) because they work your triceps.
    Just because you can work a muscle, doesn't mean you know how to get a person stronger in a movement.
    Just because you know what a cal/prot/carb/fat is, doesn;t mean you know my specific needs for my goals.

    I'm tired of seeing skinny male trainers who I don't even see lift at the gym, ever.

    On a side note, female trainers.. usually pretty damn cute.
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    Originally Posted by hackmann View Post
    My philosophy is never take fitness advice from anyone in same or worse shape as you. It's a common fact that most gyms accept this look of trainers because they dont want muscle bound people because their afraid it turns away potential clients i really wish they would get away from this outlook. Also hold trainers accountable and to a standard that they hire them into and they must maintain.
    So basically what you're saying is the worth and ability of a PT is based on the way he or she looks?
    How ignorant.
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    Again, as I said it really depends on the trainer. you find good and bad trainers everywhere.

    That being said, I think what bothers me about the trainers I see is 2 things

    1. a complete lack of consistency
    - if I'm taking over for a trainer because they're sick, I should never have to 'wing it' there should be a set routine in place that advances with the client's progress. There may be tweaking done here and there but a regular routine should be ready to go

    2. lack of knowledge in the major muscles groups and the difference between cutting and bulking
    - many trainers still have females lifting light weights for high reps and doing large amounts of cardio. I've had a few male trainers tell me I'm training "wrong" by lifting heavy and not doing enough cardio. There's nothing wrong with lifting heavy for a girl. Trainers seem to think that lifting heavy is for young guys trying to get big.
    - major muscle groups: bench, deadlift, squat. Since I've started training, I've had a few clients switch over from male trainers and none of them know about these basic exercises nor do they have any experience with doing them (thus, their form is non existent) I don't understand why trainers are not starting with the basics and are going for this ultra "creative" workouts with bosu balls and trx etc. Those are great exercises but start with the basics.

    Annnd that's my trainer vent for the day.

    Have a fantastic day!
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    i am a trainer at 24hr fitness here in the LA area and i no what you are saying there are definitely some out of shape trainers and I do feel that it takes away from their experience of training not knowing what works best wish they had to look the part to b hired because they have a cert! if i wanted a trainer id want one that was FIT.
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    Lets be real, the best trainers are probably not working at a corporate gym. They probably own their own facility or train at a private one. Corporate settings are great to get your foot in the door, but personal trainers are pretty much entry level employees in those facilities who are given more respect because gyms are profiting off of them. At the high end corporate gyms, you'll find the PT management will be full of experienced trainers to their own extent.

    Does that mean you wont find good trainers at corporate gyms? Of course not, but if you follow the money you'll realize better trainers come in higher paying gyms. Gyms where the management is stable will probably yield the most knowledgeable and professional workers as well.

    And as far as looking the part goes...you have to look the part, and yes, it says a lot about your habits as a trainer and how seriously you take your job. You don't have to look like Arnold to be a trainer, but you have to represent the idea of fitness. When someone looks at you they should automatically know you enjoy working out. Also, it should only take about a year to develop an impressive physique to demonstrate that you live a fitness lifestyle, this is especially true if you are a trainer. "How is that trainer going to get me into shape if he doesn't look like he's in shape..."
    Last edited by ptw001; 08-09-2012 at 08:08 PM.
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    The way I look at it, if you work in the fitness industry your physique is a marketing tool. If you are advocating a healthy lifestyle to others but you don't do it yourself, why should someone want to buy your service?
    I also observe a lot of p/t's who seem disengaged from their clients -- they sometimes are more concerned with checking their smartphones or looking at their reflection in the mirror.
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    Originally Posted by MkADcision View Post
    The way I look at it, if you work in the fitness industry your physique is a marketing tool. If you are advocating a healthy lifestyle to others but you don't do it yourself, why should someone want to buy your service?
    I also observe a lot of p/t's who seem disengaged from their clients -- they sometimes are more concerned with checking their smartphones or looking at their reflection in the mirror.
    I will never understand gyms that allow their trainers to have phones on the floor. Ever.

    Your client is your priority.

    Your phone stays in your locker.
    Go life heavy stuff.
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